Located downtown on Broad Street, The Partridge restaurant serves its southern food family style, and leaves no room for weak appetites.
The restaurant looks and feels like a key lime pie: clean and shiny on the surface with nothing but a sweet and tangy inside. Before I get into business, I need to say that it was the one of the best cool and breezy spring days so far in the area. I nearly floated into the place from the sidewalk. The door was propped open and I was caught by the cashier before the breeze carried me through the back door. Gentle and informative, she answered my questions about the establishment with ease, and I didn’t mind that I forgot to write down all her answers. I sat down and waited for a friend of mine who was running a bit late. I could hardly wait to get my grease high on with some good fried chicken.
Instead the waitress served my guest and I cole-slaw that was just made. I asked our server, “is this fresh?”. She replied with an affirmative “yes sir” and poured sweet tea for my friend and water for me in mason jar glasses. I continued, telling the server in my best good old’ boy southern accent, “I feel like a late governor of Louisiana comin’ home after a hard day of campaignin’ with this kind of service”. She merely smiled at my strange comment and took our order.
Well, there wasn’t really an order to take, just an explanation. A prepatory remark warning us of the feast ahead. When she brought the meal to the table it barely fit. There were three types of meats that included pork loin (my guest’s favorite), fried chicken (my favorite), and meat loaf. The additional five sides that filled in the white spaces of the table consisted of collard greens, pinto beans, mac ‘n’ cheese, broccoli casserole, and mashed potatoes with gravy. I tried to fit it all in my mouth at once using the sweet corn bread served out of a tiny skillet to shove it in. I guess I was hungry. My friend, shocked, told me in a mocking cadence, “There’s nothin’ like shedding your genteel governor demeanor for some fried chicken all over your mouth, eh?”
Embarrassed, I shifted my attention to work. I tried to find the face of this restaurant and what I found was something familiar. Like the love of a grandmother, comfort of dinning with family, and the hospitality of a small-town eatery down the street, I felt at home but still had one more important task. Dessert. If I have the option I prefer to keep my desserts simple, including the adjectives that describe them. So out of duty and consistency I tried the yellow cake. My method served me well at The Partridge.
Everything is good in this place. The Partridge is an affective redo of southern classics, not a retro rendition of the same old thing. I lament that I didn’t buy the roasted pecan syrup and blackberry jelly sold at the cashier’s counter. Oh well, gotta leave room for next time.